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on our broadcast tonight, in plain sight. on our broadcast tonight, in plain sight. inside the wild and deadly ending of the manhunt in southern california. in appears police finally got their man. but was he really hiding right across the street for days. the pope's farewell public mass. an emotional day at the vatican. what we have learned about what happens next and the subtle campaign to replace him. from bad to worse, and that nightmare at sea. conditions on board the carnival cruise ship are deteriorating at a rapid pace. tonight the view from one of the first vessels to reach the crippled ocean liner. and the star is born. did you get the make and breed of the dog that won best in show? a breed few have heard of is suddenly getting all of the attention. "nightly news" begins now.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. there is testing to be done on what was found in a charred cabin. but we can say with near certainty tonight, it's over in southern california. they believe they got their man. not before he killed four people and apparently himself. not before this one man, highly motivated, highly trained, terrorized a huge metropolitan area. what we learn today is, he might have been very close to the very headquarters of the search for days. because during his life he learned how to elude. he learned police tactics. he himself made for a tough suspect to locate and take down. we have two reports tonight, starting with the very latest on the investigation, nbc's miguel almaguer is in big bear in southern california. miguel, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. the coroner's office will use dental records or forensics to
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identify christopher dorner. they say his body is burned beyond recognition, but law enforcement sources tell nbc news, make no doubt, this is the suspect. tonight, this rubble is all that remains of the cabin where fugitive christopher dorner made his last stand. the drama began tuesday afternoon, miles away. 12:20 p.m., a 911 call from this cabin. two women who arrived to clean the home surprised dorner who was holed up inside. he tied them up and stole their car. >> did we get a physical on the guy? what is he wearing? >> reporter: dressed in camouflage and armed, dorner drove down a mountain road. he opened fire on fish and wildlife wardens in pursuit. >> the suspect took his weapon out, stuck it out the window of his vehicle, and shot our game warden five times. >> reporter: dorner crashed the car, then carjacked rick heltebrake. >> he pointed a gun at me, i
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an assault-type rifle. i stopped my truck, put it in park, raised my hands up. he said, "i don't want to hurt you. just get out." >> reporter: but dorner quickly dumped that second vehicle. on foot, deputies chased him into the woods. >> we have the suspect holed up in a cabin. >> reporter: 1: 15 p.m., another volley of gunfire. two deputies are hit. one is dead. >> we have an officer down. >> copy. another officer down. >> reporter: hundreds of rounds are exchanged between police and their suspect. a cbs news crew was just yards away from the firefight. the s.w.a.t. team arrived on scene. tear gas was fired through the window. >> it's the one with the smoke. the one with the smoke is the target cabin. >> reporter: an armored vehicle was called in to knock down the walls. the cabin caught fire, possibly caused by the tear gas grenades. dorner was still inside. police heard a single gunshot.
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>> shots fired from inside the residence. >> it would have been crazy for law enforcement officers to have gone in and tried to confront him inside the cabin. >> reporter: with the suspect down at 6:30 p.m., the six-day manhunt was finally over. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san bernardino county, california. >> reporter: i'm mike taibbi in big bear where there is shock dorner could have been hiding here in plain slight, even within earshot of the daily police briefings until his encounter with two resort workers on the main through road. >> i parked my car right across the street from the cabin that he was held up in. >> i can't believe he could be this close. >> reporter: every home and structure had been searched. even the cabin where dorner made his last stand. >> two days ago, the police went over there and searched it. >> reporter: today, for the first time in a week, local businesses like blanca and pierre's restaurant were busy again. but owner luis says he and his mom and especially his two daughters had been living in fear.
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>> they didn't want to sleep alone, so we're all in one room. >> reporter: down the mountain, the memorial for slain riverside police officer michael crane, one of two fatal law enforcement victims of an ex cop's rage. >> your dad was a tough guy. and because he was tough, he knew he could be kind and gentle. >> reporter: more than 5,000 uniformed men and women attended, their grief mixed with relief that the siege is over. >> we love what we do. and we're going to continue doing it and try to keep the bad guys locked up. >> reporter: there was still some residual anxiety. dorner had said in his manifesto, i will reassess and reattack until my objectives are met. and while he was stopped, there were supporters online and elsewhere vowing anonymously to take up arms on his behalf. >> the protective details, some of those are still in place. and those will remain in place until the department and those protectees feel safe. >> reporter: but for the most
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part, the wave of fear that was most suffocating right here has subsided. >> last night was the first time night they went to their own rooms. >> reporter: life again as it was before tense drama and further tragedy marked this mountain forever. over 1,000 tips were checked out that had dorner anywhere from mexico to nevada. but it seems likely he was here, hiding in plain sight for days, maybe even since last friday, until two frightened women called police to report their encounter with california's most wanted. and for a week, america's most wanted man, christopher dorner. brian? >> mike taibbi, miguel almaguer before that starting us off from southern california tonight. thanks. on this ash wednesday, the over 1 billion catholics around the world are still adjusting to the knowledge to the announcement pope benedict will be stepping down and new leadership will follow. and today the man who says he lacks the strength to go on as leader of the church led his final public mass as pope. nbc's anne thompson with us tonight from the vatican. anne, good evening.
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>> reporter: good evening, brian. today we finally saw the man who is causing all the commotion here. in two public appearances, pope benedict looked every one of his 85 years, but his voice and his resolve are strong. ♪ pope benedict led a packed st. peter's basilica in a moving ash wednesday mass. reminding the faithful, they are made from dust and to dust they shall return. a message of humility, answered by an unusual demonstration of affection. a spontaneous, prolonged standing ovation for the retiring pontiff, at his final public mass. a sea of cell phones capturing the exit of a man praised today as a simple and humble worker. >> i have tears in my eyes. it's just so amazing to be here. >> reporter: the pope's weekly audience turned no a pep rally
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of sorts for the pontiff. an audience these tourists from dallas will not forget. >> i think it's a very big part of history. and we're very proud to be a little part of it. >> reporter: when benedict's papacy ends, the vatican says he will remove his ring, the symbol of his authority, and it will be destroyed. as happens when a pope dies. on his last day, february 28th, he will meet with the cardinal, many appointed by him, and they will choose his successor at a conclave that will begin on or after march 15th. a secret of a secret with its own unique campaign rules, says john davis, who covered the vatican for the catholic news service. >> i think if a cardinal really thinks he would make a good pope, he would never say so. he might have a group of friends who might be saying so on his behalf. but even that is considered, you know, kind of going against the rules. you don't campaign. >> reporter: but there is plenty
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of maneuvering. meanwhile, the current pope is trying to keep to his regular schedule. tomorrow he meets with the pastors of rome's parishes. brian? >> anne thompson at the vatican tonight. anne, thanks. president obama took last night's state of the union message on the economy on the road today to north carolina. but back in washington, the ideas he put forward are falling flat with republicans. our report tonight from white house correspondent peter alexander. >> reporter: road testing his new economic plan on a day trip to north carolina, president obama toured this auto parts plant near asheville, canadian company expanding its operations here. >> i believe in manufacturing. i think it makes our country stronger. >> reporter: republicans today charged mr. obama's speech last night, rehashed the same old partisan rhetoric. >> another retread of lip service and liberalism. for a democratic president entering his second term, it was simply unequal to the moment.
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>> reporter: the president used the first state of the union of his second term to lay out an ambitious agenda. >> it is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government -- >> reporter: with calls to combat climate change through the use of cleaner energy, provide high-quality preschool for every child in america. and raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. the white house says would affect 15 million americans. but it's a move republicans insist would hamper growth. >> at a time when the american people are still asking the question where are the jobs, why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? >> reporter: but tuesday night's emotional high points -- >> countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. >> reporter: the president's personal appeal on behalf of the victims of gun violence. like the parents of 15-year-old hadiya pendelton, who attended last month's inaugural. >> she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school. just a mile away from my house. >> reporter: mr. obama closing with a simple refrain.
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>> gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. >> reporter: brian, also tonight, a setback for the president's pick for defense secretary, chuck hagel, because of continued republican opposition. hagel will need 60 votes to be confirmed, not the usual simple majority. that's the first time that's ever happened for a defense secretary nominee. that vote showdown will happen before the end of this week. >> peter alexander at the white house for us tonight. peter, thanks. and now to what has become a very unsavory story about conditions on board a cruise ship deteriorating very rapidly. it is no carnival tonight on board the carnival vesicle "triumph" after a fire, a power failure, a bathroom failure, an air conditioning failure, a foot shortage and now a tow into port in mobile, alabama, to end the suffering on board what was supposed to be a nice escape for over 3,000 passengers.
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our report tonight from nbc's janet shamlian in mobile. >> reporter: these are the passengers who have been toughing it out on the crippled "triumph," living four days now without power, working toilets or enough food. the photos were taken from another carnival vessel as it delivered supplies. a third tug was summoned late today to help tow "triumph" into mobile, where family members are waiting. >> your heart sinks, your stomach knots up. you just want to keel over in fetal position and go "why?" why now? you know? but you get stronger. >> reporter: carnival has apologized to customers, and today cancelled 12 more "triumph" cruises, docked now until at least mid april. it's little consolation for natalie ware, whose mother is on board. >> it's awful. we want our mom home. we want to make sure she is safe and hear from her. >> reporter: ware and others have lost contact with family in the last day or so, as cell phones have died. carnival has said it's made arrangements to get passengers home as soon as possible.
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1,500 hotel rooms booked for new orleans and mobile for thursday night, and 20 charter flights head to houston on friday. >> every decision we've made since sunday morning is to ensure the safety of our guests and to get them home as quickly as possible. >> reporter: he drove from texas to meet his fiancee who he says has been anything but comfortable. >> carnival gives you a number to call but when you call that number, the information they give you makes everything sound like for the most part it's okay. but then when you actually hear from someone on the ship, you realize what kind of situation they're actually in. >> the final hours of a vacation nightmare, as "triumph" limps home. janet shamlian, nbc news, mobile. still ahead for us on a wednesday night, our in-depth series, "guns in america." tonight tom brokaw joins us with a special report and an important voice in this argument we haven't heard from until now. and later, third time is a charm for a very good dog who had a very big night. nexi um, the purple pill,
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with the fight over guns red-hot in washington and coming off that emotional moment in the house chamber last night, a lot of lawmakers suddenly find themselves in a tough spot, caught in the middle between gun rights and gun control. an important voice in all of it is a veteran u.s. congressman from california, who is trying to find the solution. tonight, as part of our special nbc news series on guns in america, our report from tom brokaw. >> i've been 100% on this gun issue. >> reporter: that is a common refrain on capitol hill these days, and congressman mike thompson is no exception. as a vietnam veteran and a hunter, he knows guns. >> i just want to let everybody know from the beginning that i'm a hunter. i'm a gun owner. and i believe that law-abiding citizens have a second amendment right to own firearms. >> reporter: his home district is california's famed wine country, napa valley.
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>> congressman, nobody thinks about this part of california in terms of hunting and shooting. this is wine country. i mean, it's celebrated in films and even mocked a little bit. but when you were a boy, it was prime hunting country. >> right here, used to hunt ducks on this river. there's farm ponds all over. we used to jump shoot ducks there. >> reporter: and napa still is gun country. at a january town hall, emotions were white-hot. >> the second amendment clearly states the right to bear arms. not for you to tell me what i can own or not. >> reporter: but an hour away, in san francisco, a different view. >> losing one human being to gun violence is losing one too many. >> i think we have to look at not only what's possible, but what will do the most good. we have to prioritize those things. and magazine capacity is certainly one of them. and how anyone can argue against
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background checks is beyond me. >> a friend of mine in montana says it's no longer about guns, it's about government now. >> yeah. that line has been crossed. >> reporter: thompson believes the middle ground is important, so he's appealing to hunters and sportsmen to help him out. >> 80% of the people in the united states of america don't own guns. and every day, more and more of that 80% think that all of us who do own guns own assault weapons. i don't think that bodes well for the future of our sport. >> reporter: back in washington, thompson and representative anna eshoo of silicon valley are determined to be optimistic, but she knows she has to be realistic, as well. >> you have to be, to be in this business, you have to be an optimist about our country and the people and the steps we can take. >> reporter: brian, congressman thompson and his house colleagues still hope they can deliver everything that president wants, but that is seeming more unlikely every day. i'm here in arizona tonight. of course, this is the state of the shooting of gabby giffords.
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but it is a state with a very strong gun lobby. in the state legislature now, there is a bill that would nullify any new federal gun control laws. so that's what's going on in the american west. brian? >> tom brokaw with tonight's report in our series on guns. tom, thanks, as always. and we're back in a moment with the televised moment from last night that just might live on forever. [ horn honks ] hurry up or we'll miss the bus! come on! ♪ whatcha got there, richard? they're for show & tell. wasn't that yesterday? yup, but the class wants me to do it again. [ male announcer ] tim and richard smucker learned early on just how irresistible their jam really is. so how'd it go today, richard? i shoulda brought more. [ male announcer ] for five generations, with a name like smucker's, it has to be good. [ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal congestion.
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[ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto-insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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the pentagon has created a new medal to award to those in uniform who contribute to the fight without ever serving in harm's way. it's called the distinguished warfare medal. it will be rewarded for extraordinary achievement in things like operating drones or taking part in cyber warfare. the pentagon wants to point out their contribution to the war effort is no less valid. the decoration would rank between the silver and bronze stars in terms of its significance. well, it's one of the cruelest aspects of politics in the television age.
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no matter how well-crafted the content, no matter how thoughtful a person you are, it's the television moments, the superficial, purely visual moments that are often remembered forever instead. and that will certainly be the case with florida senator marco rubio's gop response last night. it was instantly branded the aqua lunge. some called it watergate when his mouth grew palpably dry and the water was just too far away to reach for it comfortable, so he reached for it as if he was under fire. the water folks at poland spring enjoyed their web moment in the sun today. the lunge became a cottage industry. so did comments about everything else people saw last night. joe biden's eye injury from a scratched cornea, speaker boehner's lack of excitement. the president's exploding fist bump with the republican senator from illinois who is still recovering from a stroke. with our politics so paralyzed, maybe americans are just looking for a diversion. up next here tonight, about last night.
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in new york city. and for all of us who would be perfectly happy if a golden retriever won every year, they managed to keep it interesting this year with a breed of dog few nondog people had ever heard. the most famous dog in new york today. our report tonight from nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: a cloud of fluffy, black fur on four, skinny legs. >> best in show winner, with the 137th westminster kennel club dog show, the affenpinscher. banana joe! >> reporter: this little monkey-faced fella named banana joe ran with the big dogs and stole the super bowl of canine competition. edging out old english sheepdog, swagger, to take best in show. so what the heck is an affenpinscher, anyway? dating back to 17th century central europe, the affenpinscher was known as the little devil with a mustache. today the rare breed mostly seems to make its owners a little crazy in love.
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after last night, the affen fervor is growing. breeders like this one in arizona have seen a surge in requests. highly adorable, but not afraid to work, ernie is a therapy dog for students at penn state. but not everyone is a fan. does westminster try to find a new, strange-looking dog to make best in show each year, cried one tweeter. but to helen, edward and their pup yeardley, hater's gone ahate, they just want to love. >> he looks like an ewock to me. >> reporter: as for banana joe, after the morning tv rounds, he ate a steak lunch. but he isn't just a champion, he's a linguist, fluent in four languages. [ speaking in spanish ] i think that means yes, right? and tonight a one-night-only appearance on broadway. center stage in the mystery of edwin drood. banana joe's next act, retirement abroad, leaving
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little devils with mustaches waiting in the wing. katy tur, new york. that's our broadcast tonight. thank you for being with us. i'm brian williams and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. to see you right back here

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NBC Nightly News
NBC February 13, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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TOPIC FREQUENCY America 6, Vatican 5, Nbc 5, New York 5, Us 5, California 5, Benedict 4, Southern California 4, Christopher Dorner 3, Usaa 3, Thompson 3, Miguel Almaguer 3, Tom Brokaw 3, Washington 3, Gabby Giffords 2, Cialis 2, Napa 2, Nexium 2, Mr. Obama 2, Richard 2
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